OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews

2309-7132 (online)
2309-7124 (print)
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The OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) conducts periodic reviews of the individual development co-operation efforts of DAC members. The policies and programmes of each DAC member are critically examined approximately once every five years. DAC peer reviews assess the performance of a given member, not just that of its development co-operation agency, and examine both policy and implementation. They take an integrated, system-wide perspective on the development co-operation and humanitarian assistance activities of the member under review.

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OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Finland 2017

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08 Dec 2017
9789264287235 (PDF) ;9789264287228(print)

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The review assesses the performance of Finland, including how its commitment to the 2030 Agenda translates into action on the ground and how it can strengthen its partnerships with a view to adopting a whole-of-Finland approach in the face of steep budget cuts.

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  • Conducting the peer review

    The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) conducts periodic reviews of the individual development co-operation efforts of DAC members. The policies and programmes of each member are critically examined approximately once every five years. Five members are examined annually. The OECD Development Co-operation Directorate provides analytical support, and develops and maintains, in close consultation with the Committee, the methodology and analytical framework – known as the Reference Guide – within which the peer reviews are undertaken.

  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Finland's aid at a glance
  • Context of Finland's peer review

    Finland has a population of 5.5 million and a GDP per capita of USD 43 364. A three-party centre-right coalition government composed of the Centre Party, National Coalition Party and what is now the New Choice/Blue Reform Group was formed after the April 2015 elections, led by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä of the Centre Party. The next elections will take place in 2019.

  • The DAC's main findings and recommendations
  • Towards a comprehensive Finnish development effort

    Finland continues to demonstrate strong political and whole-of-society commitment to implementing development-relevant global policies. National and international commitments to sustainable development are outlined in the Prime Minister's strategic programme, society's commitment document and the 2030 Agenda national implementation plan. Finland's strong national commitment to sustainable development should translate into continued advocacy for and leadership of the 2030 Agenda internationally.

  • Policy vision and framework

    Finland's 2016 policy has a clear, high-level policy statement and four broad, well-defined priority areas that are clearly reflected in its bilateral and multilateral programming. The goal of Finland's development policy is to eradicate extreme poverty, and it concentrates its development assistance in sectors and countries where it has knowledge, experience and expertise; however, the policy's new emphasis on the private sector will require a reorientation in the skills required. Finland has nine long-term partner countries in which it supports a maximum of three priority areas.

  • Financing for development

    Finland does have a long-term goal to increase official development assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI), but it does not have a clear plan to achieve that goal, nor does it indicate what would trigger an increase in this ratio. As of 2016, Finland is no longer delivering its internationally-agreed target of delivering 0.20% of its GNI to least developed countries, despite having achieved this target as recently as 2014.

  • Managing Finland's development co-operation

    Finland’s integrated institutional structure can support the current transition from ODA-centred co-operation towards co-operation encompassing a fuller set of foreign and trade policy areas. While Finland’s management of development policy and co-operation is integrated across the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, it is not integrated across government. Whilst this approach may present practical benefits, it undermines public discussion and support for development spending.

  • Finland's development co-operation delivery and partnerships

    Despite the flexibility of Finland’s budgeting tools and processes, the severe budget cuts have reduced the predictability of Finland’s development co-operation. While the second-generation country strategies make some effort to provide a more comprehensive overview of Finland's interventions, they fall short of providing a comprehensive picture of ODA in each country and are not aligned to country programming cycles. Given Finland's diminishing share of grants in its development finance, country strategies should take a more integrated approach in order to make the most of the various co-operation instruments and types of financing in each partner country. Finland will need to manage risks more proactively and ensure that it adheres to internationally agreed effectiveness principles, including on tied aid.

  • Results, evaluation and learning

    Finland is working hard to put in place a system for managing results. Efforts to date have focused on reporting and accountability linked to the four priority areas expressed as results. Building a results culture, which enables organisational learning and decision-making is work in progress.

  • Finland's humanitarian assistance

    Finland is a principled humanitarian donor, using its small but meaningful voice to push partners and the humanitarian system to work more effectively in key policy areas, helping get the most out of its modest funding. Disaster risk reduction is a particular focus; however, reducing disaster risk is not systematically part of development partner strategies, and it is surprising that the potential drivers of humanitarian crises are not better incorporated into country strategies. Finland could improve this by systematically involving the humanitarian unit in development programme design and quality assurance procedures. The humanitarian policy could also be updated to take into account the significant changes in the global policy environment over the last couple of years.

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